1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear
#49: Lil’ Dicky – I’m Brain (2017)
Comedy rapper Lil’ Dicky’s limp jokes make for an album that’s not just awful. Worst still, it’s forgettable writes MATT KELLY.
Lil’ Dicky’s 2015 album Professional Rapper contains an 11-minute track named ‘Pillow Talking’ during which Dicky’s post-coital conversation with his lady is interrupted by a goofy cartoon brain n legs coming out of his head and singing in an auto-tuned Kermit The Frog voice. Why do you need to know this?
YOU DON’T. YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW THIS. DON’T KNOW IT. STOP READING.
But come 2017 Lil’ Dicky decided this Brain persona was so hilarious it needed its own career. This concept could be entertaining and fresh in the hands of a humorous and inventive rapper. Unfortunately, Lil’ Dicky is doing it, so prepare for some of the most inane bars you’ve ever heard in your life. The whole bit is “OMG you guys I’m like so quirky and unique look at the random shit in my brain” but…
Brain is just Lil’ Dicky doing a silly voice and seems to rap the same stuff Dicky would anyway so the character lacks a point. After a few lines about fucking an ant mound and oral herpes you’ll be more than happy to go back to normal, well-crafted rap.
I’ll admit I don’t mind ‘Cocaine’ that much. The auto-tuned hook is sort of catchy, the premise about how Dicky is afraid of substances is different for rap, and the argument between Dicky and Brain about Dicky’s decision to take MDMA to impress a girl is cute.
However, songs like the obnoxiously pointless free association of ‘Whippin’ It’ and the skin-crawling ‘F Slo’ (an entire song about how girls fuck Dicky too hard and chafe his member) quickly eradicate any goodwill.
As an MC, Dicky has two problems; there’s an edge lordy, misogynistic tint to his lyrics that makes him hard to like, and for someone who’s doing comedy rap, I can’t find the jokes. He says a lot of goofy non-sequiturs but the craftsmanship/wit/endgame isn’t there; he might raise a faint smile from time to time, but you’re more likely to laugh at this project than with it.
As for the music, it’s bog-standard nothing-to-see-here trap; there was an opportunity to come up with some fruity, out-there beats and go all-in on this project being different, but the tracks uniformly lack personality.
I’ve heard it said that Super Ghostbusters style, I’m Brain is so unfunny it comes out the other side and becomes funny, but I certainly didn’t find it anywhere near as amusing as Super Ghostbusters. Perhaps the most damning thing about I’m Brain is that odd as it is, it’s also eminently forgettable; a class clown more likely to induce snores than guffaws.